Make Social Media Work for You: A Four-step Guide to Driving Revenue
As of 2020, there are nearly 4 billion social media users, including the over 90% of businesses that have also deployed a social media strategy. What does this large user pool mean to PR practitioners? It is simultaneously more challenging and more profitable to cut through the noise and gain visibility.
As opposed to only drafting content to be posted online, social media marketing has become a more extensive process, including analysis of web statistics and targeted strategies. As those who have tried to meet a Tweet’s character limit can attest, it can seem like your conducting intensive surgery with each and every word!
But beneath all the traffic statistics and intricate tactics, the core fundamentals driving a campaign will, in the end, determine if it is successful or not. Fortunately, these crucial components can be condensed to these basic tenets – monitoring, managing, measuring and monetizing.
Once marketers master the art of creating a clear plan of action that incorporates these four tenets, social media campaigns can be carried out with great success.
Monitor the social media ecosystem
Whether you’re creating an entire digital marketing strategy or are just trying to find the best hashtags or subject for your CEO’s next post, knowing the trending topics pertinent to your target audience as well as what social activities competitors are doing is a vital first step. Monitoring active conversations also brings an additional benefit – it helps you find new subjects that your business can offer unique insight into.
Manually scouring different platforms for keywords can suck up too much time for the effort. Instead, once you’ve defined goals, it helps to adopt a centralized software solution, like Hootsuite, that is able to track and analyze conversations and supply immediate insights. When using a software platform, be sure you know how to best use its search strings and capabilities to maximize efforts.
Manage efficiently to achieve clearly defined goals
Activities should be carried out to achieve SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely) goals. Once a campaign is started, efficient management is vital to achieving these clearly laid out goals. It is crucial to refine social campaigns by tracking what is working and what is not and quickly reacting to improve performance. Additionally, those managing social media should avoid scenarios where they are rushing to manually post all their content. Instead, tweets and posts should be planned, scheduled and tracked within a calendar.
It is also critical to respond to any comments, or a dearth of them. This helps teams encourage conversations and discover new leads. While analytics, software platforms and strategies are necessary, efficiently managing execution will also be a critical success factor to continuous success over time.
Measure progress continuously
Social media campaigns can include marketing on many platforms, making them difficult to track and analyze. Yet, doing so is vital, especially if you must report to a chief marketing officer, other executives or board members.
To make reporting more efficient, you should decide on how you plan to measure success before you begin working on it, create a central place for all stakeholders involved to regularly track metrics, and ensure the data being tracked tells a compelling story about how social media marketing is driving revenue or improving customer service.
As an example, there are more than 1 billion websites vying for engagement, so a major goal when measuring your social media will probably be tied to generating website traffic. For such a goal, you should track measurements like post click-through rates in combination with ways to monitor how a website engages viewers and converts traffic to leads. By consistently measuring such traits, you demonstrate to your organizational leaders how sales are being bolstered while also gaining knowledge about which strategies are most effective.
Monetize social campaigns
With measurements helping create a data-led path to follow, you will ultimately want to demonstrate how your social media marketing is driving revenue growth. If marketers are able to draw a direct connection between social media marketing and sales, the value a campaign is bringing becomes immediately noticeable.
To link your reporting metrics to bottom-line growth, you should measure the impact of owned, earned and paid media in relation to overarching goals that depict value, like customer service and retention, social presence and lead generation. Then there are key metrics that should be monitored, including the number of comments, SEO scores, email sign-ups, click-throughs, followers, etc.
While there are a plethora of metrics that can indicate social media success, organizational leaders will be most concerned with customer retention, lead conversion and any benchmark that directly links marketing to revenue growth.
Diligently pursue success
Try to help others understand that social media marketing is not about instantaneous gratification. This is particularly true if your goal is to keep customers tuned in and develop ongoing relationships with them.
Instead, success can be achieved by consistently following these four fundamentals, tracking different metrics to improve efforts and significantly contributing to the bottom line wherever possible. Taking this type of action now will help a business to better compete in years to come, especially as the number of social media users continually grows alongside the social media strategies of most businesses.
By Robert Brownlie, Bob Gold & Associates
About the Author
Robert Brownlie is an integral part of the team at Bob Gold & Associates (BG&A) located in Los Angeles, California. Robert leads numerous technology accounts, including NiceLabel and Opengear. Prior to joining BG&A, Robert’s professional experiences include editing and creating technical documents, proposals and marketing materials for healthcare IT and civil engineers. Before entering the compelling world of public relations and business-to-business communication, Robert tutored English grammar at Long Beach City College and attended California State University Long Beach, where he graduated with a degree in English and Technical Communications. His background enables him to effectively write and pitch content for clients and contribute to results-driven marketing and communications strategies.